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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

294

THE                   PJ&DES.

aliitlcn to a few e:rper c:hs, often present a piece of sugar ; and the heap of
*3 T^r acc^sulate-i in thw2e or four days lias been sold by auction for as much
a L.. 5 3. he shrike is a verr poj jlar cue among all classes ; scarcely ever
is an Important venture made without a TOW that tie God shall receive a fixed
stare of the profits, if he I ring It ID a sucsessroi issue ; and even casual votaries,
wLo have no special coca to beg, are tften most lavish in their donations, either
cf money, horned cattle, carriages, I<crses, or other property. For example, a
4V;w vears szo, Sirajlhan, a wealthy merchant of Agra, gave Us. 4?000 worth
ci jfiwsllerv icr tua po. 53:11* uSGrnnient of the God.
It is snfortnnritc tuat the hereditary guardians of so wealthy a shrine
s'noill be sa:h a bw and thriftless set as the Ahivasis are. The temple-garden
occcpi'ia 5^ bighas of lanl and was cnce a well-planted grove. It is now a
dirty, unsightly w**ste? as the Fancies have gradually cut down all the trees for
firewood, without a thought of replacing them. They have thus not only dete-
riorzued the value of their property, but also forfeited a grant that used to be
made by the Maharaja of Bharat-par for its maintenance. It is also asserted
to be a common practice for the younger members of the clan, when they see
any devotees prostrate in devotion before the god, to he very forward in assisting
them to rise and leading them away, and to take the opportunity of despoiling
them of any loose cash or valuable ornaments that they can lay their hands
upon. It is believed that thefts of this kind are frequent; though the victim
generally prefers to accept the loss in silence, rather than incure the odium
of Bringing a charge, that there might not be legal evidence to substantiate,
against a professedly religious community. It appears in every way desirable
that some extra police should be maintained at the expense of the PfaideSj
and a constable or two kept permanently on duty in the inner court of the
temple. As an ilustration of the esteem in which learning is held in this large
and wealthy Brahmamcal town, it may be mentioned that the school is not only
merely a primary oae3 but is also about the smallest and worst of its class ia
Ike whole district.